Unlike their Steel City rivals, the Capitals’ leader, Alex Ovechkin, has not let up. His ninth 50-goal season tied him with Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy for the most such campaigns in league history. Its completement from Nicklas Backstrom, TJ Oshie, John Carlson and more have all looked good this season. Washington can upset Stanley Cup favorites Florida in the first round but won’t go much further for two simple reasons.
As No. 1, the team was rarely at full strength throughout the season. This constant need to move lines will leave the capitals feeling a little short when it comes to chemistry. Perhaps more importantly, Washington has not settled on a starting goaltender between Ilya Samsonov and All year Vitek Vanecek. It was no reprieve that made no such statement. None of the goalkeepers proved worthy of holding this place permanently. No repeat of 2018 takes place four years later.